LOCAL Houston | The City Guide December 2016 - Page 25

THERE ' S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT UCHI . It ’ s got a lot of hype and it sits on a busy intersection in Montrose . Maybe it ' s the fact that the kitchen seems as large as the seating area , or that the impeccable interior design of wood , brass lights , metal and clay plaster walls adds up to a place that ' s both always clean , and always fresh . Service ? Up there with the best in the city .
Most likely that special something is the food . It ’ s just incredible . And , we have it on good authority that the menu is going to be revamped quarterly / seasonally from now on , so be on the lookout for those subtle changes offering even more awesome . Anyway , every time we go we ’ re blown away , and clearly most of the city is as well , considering just how busy Uchi always seems to be . So we were quite thrilled when Uchi showed up in our queue of Perfect Pairs . Please let it be the Brussels sprouts , or some fresh Tsukiji fish !!!! But , no , it ' s a dessert ?!
No way we would have ordered a cantaloupe dessert . It ' s a perfectly fine fruit , but over chocolate , vanilla or other , you know , dessert flavors ? Not our choice . But sometimes a pivot can be good , and this cantaloupe dessert is one of those times . You may not notice in the photo , but this dessert offers you the experience of every texture your mouth can handle . Light as air , but dense and crunchy at the same time . Buttermilk sabayon ( bottom layer , kinda like a custard ) is cooked sous-vide for two hours , refrigerated until cool , then eventually shot out of a nitrogen canister to make its final custard-like formation when ordered . Just for a dessert . And this is only one layer !
Next up is the cantaloupe sherbet . Then , the rest of the dessert is from the elderflower , giving us a croquant ( French for crisp ), some foam ( look at that picture ), cordil , and meringue ! Woah , taste explosion . And the wine ? Would . Not . Normally . Order . No way we would order a madeira , especially considering it ' s usually thought of as grandma ' s sweet dessert wine . Not so much anymore it would seem . Uchi liked the 10 Year Broadbent Verdelho Madeira for its lighter feel and higher acidity content vs . other dessert wines . Uchi tells it like this , “ We featured this wine because it didn ' t compete with the sweetness off the dessert but rather complement it .” And that ' s that , just perfect . Which , we suppose , is why we do these Perfect Pairs , to show you something you ( and we ) may not have even considered , but absolutely should .
By Mike Cook Photography by Kennon Evett
Uchi Houston | 904 Westheimer | Houston , TX 77006 713.522.4808 | www . uchirestaurants . com / houston december 16 | LOCAL 25